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TPG pays infringment notices over "free minutes" claims

posted May 8, 2012, 5:35 PM by Austin Carwardine   [ updated May 8, 2012, 5:56 PM ]

TPG Internet Pty Ltd (TPG) has paid two infringement notices totalling $13,200 in relation to advertisements for its ‘500 free VoIP Minutes’ offer which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission believed to be misleading.

TPG advertised on its website that consumers who subscribed to a broadband bundle plan would receive 500 free minutes of VoIP calls. However, the offer was subject to terms and conditions which meant that a consumer would only receive 500 minutes of free VoIP calls if each and every call made had a minimum duration of 10 minutes. One of the advertisements also did not disclose that the call must terminate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra or Perth.

The ACCC put the telecommunications industry on notice that it will not tolerate misleading advertising, and noted that it is concerned that consumers are regularly still not offered transparent and clear information about the price, terms and conditions for their services.  It said that it will take an increasingly aggressive approach to send the message that this kind of misleading advertising (particularly fine-print qualification) will not be tolerated.  [From the ACCC news release, 26 April 2012.]